PETALING JAYA: Hosts Malaysia were runaway winners in the Asian Lawn Bowls Championships, winning nine out of 11 titles at the National Lawns Bowls Centre in Bukit Kiara here yesterday.
The Malaysians picked up six golds and two silvers in the seven-day championships. On top of that, the homesters also bagged the men's and women's team awards. They emerged overall champions after collecting 87 points.
Hong Kong finished second overall with 69 points after winning one gold, three silvers and two bronzes.
The Philippines, who won two silvers and three bronzes, were third on 55 points while Brunei were fourth with 40 points. Fifth was Thailand (31) followed by Indonesia (30) and Singapore (24).
The Malaysian winners were Siti Zalina Ahmad (women's singles), Jozaini Johari-Safuan Said (men's pairs), Azizan Saidon, Zuraidi Puteh, Syed Mohamed Syed Akil (men's triples), Haslah Hassan, Nazura Ngahat, Saedah Rahim (women's triples), Zuraidi Puteh, Kamarul Aizat Othman, Syed Mohamed Syed Akil, Jozaini Johari (men's fours), Azlina Arshad, Nazura Ngahat, Haslah Hassan and Nor Hashimah Ismail (women's four).
Siti Zalina finished the tournament in style, winning all her six-round singles matches for the maximum 12 points. She defeated Milagros Guyal of the Philippines 21-4 in yesterday's last round. Earlier, she posted wins over Anna Harvey of Indonesia (21-14), Vivatana Itipanitpong of Thailand ((21-13), Rina Samat of Brunei (21-6), Angela Chau of Hong Kong (21-14) and Tan Bee Yian of Singapore (21-13).
The Manchester Commonwealth Games singles champion is now set to compete in the World Champion of Champion Singles Championships in Moama, Australia, from Sept 18-28.
“I hope to do well in Australia. After that, I will focus my attention on the World Women's Bowls Championships in Malaysia host next year,'' said Siti, who will represent Asia in a competition against Europe at the same venue tomorrow.
However, it was heartbreak again for Safuan Said in the men's singles competition. Adam Poynton of Hong Kong edged Safuan by a meagre three points on countback for the gold medal. Both players had entered the final round tied with five wins each. Safuan won his last round game against Harry Melvelle Anderson of the Philippines 21-14 while Poynton defeated Mick Scott of Indonesia 21-15.
It was the second consecutive blow for Safuan who also picked up the silver in the last Championships in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Malaysia will be sending three players to the World Under-25 Singles Championships in Jersey in October. Fairul Izwan Abdul Muin will be competing in the men's event while Erda Firdayu Saroji and Sarimah Abu Bakar will be competing in the women's event.